I have a truly beautiful wedding to share with you today. My dear friends Susan & Grant said I do on a sunny day in March 2012, at the picturesque St Mary’s Church in Old Alresford, Winchester. The celebrations continued at the Hotel Du Vin in Winchester, the perfect backdrop for their informal and intimate wedding. I was lucky enough to attend their special day and can honestly say it was incredible. Everything was amazingly executed, the details were out of this world, the sun shone, we laughed, we cried and they beamed with happiness.
The day was captured by the super talented and super lovely Pen & Cam of McKinley-Rodgers Photography. A special thank you to Pen for sharing the beautiful images. I think you will agree this day was perfection in its entirety!
SUSAN & GRANT
DATE: 15th March 2012
THE PROPOSAL: Grant surprised me with a trip on New Years Eve to Lime Regis. He popped the question on New Years Day during the evening, the beach was empty and pitch black, he had arranged candles and a bottle of champagne for us down but the waters edge, where he went down on one knee! And I cried a lot!
THE VENUE: We wanted a low-key, informal wedding and fell in love with the church as soon as we saw it. It sat on the brow a hill overlooking the watercress fields in Old Alresford – very beautiful! The vicar and congregation were so friendly and welcoming it couldn’t be anywhere else! The celebrations continued at the Hotel Du Vin in Winchester. It was perfect, small enough to feel intimate and homely, with great food and amazing staff. It was important to us to have a happy and relaxed atmosphere and nothing too stuffy or pretentious.
STYLE/ THEME: It was all very random to be honest, the bridesmaids picked their dresses, and the only inspiration I gave to the florist was country/ rustic and bright – she did the rest! I just wanted the wedding to be fuss free and to not look too weddingy – my Mum thought I was crazy!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Pen and Cam from McKinley-Rodgers Photography. A friend of mine recommended Pen and Cam to us and we are so glad she did. Not only are they fantastic photographers they are the most lovely people. It was a pleasure to have them at our big day! They captured the feel and the atmosphere of the day perfectly, I can’t look at the photos without grinning!
THE DRESS: I got my dress in the Jenny Packham sample sale, it was completely manic and so stressful with half dressed brides to be everywhere! Although it was a very quick decision once I’d had all the alterations done I was very happy!
ACCESSORIES: I spent a long time looking for hair accessories but in the end I couldn’t find what I was looking for, probably because I didn’t know what I wanted! It was a last minute decision to have simple fresh flower heads pinned in my hair. My something borrowed was a beautiful crystal necklace from my bridesmaid.
THE SHOES: I loved my shoes! Far more than the dress in fact! They were a present from Grant (although he didn’t actually see them until the day!) Stella McCartney mid heals with a mock croc ankle strap and neon/gold soles. I wish I could wear them everyday, although strangely I’m scared to wear them now!
BRIDESMAIDS + GROOMSMEN: The suits and the bridesmaids dresses were all from Paul Smith, as I work for the company it couldn’t have been anything else really! There was no official colour scheme Grant picked the blue suits and the bridesmaids selected the nude pink dresses, it all worked perfectly together though, but more luck than judgement! Isla my flower girl picked a dress from John Lewis. When she tried it on she asked me if this was what it felt like to be a princess bride, she was very happy with it!
THE GROOM: Grant looked great, his entire outfit and traditional tan brogues were all from Paul Smith. We were unsure if the blue was a bit bright but actually on the day it seemed very Spring like and right.
THE FLOWERS: Charlotte at The Flower Orchard. She was absolutely brilliant and knew exactly what I wanted just from a few cuttings from magazines that I gave to her. The theme was rustic, spring and colourful and she did the rest! I collected some jam jars (which was easy as Grant LOVES jam) and gave her some vintage ribbon and lace to tie around them. She is a true genius, the best supplier in the world!
DECOR + DETAILS: I made colourful paper pom poms which we mixed with pin wheels and lanterns. We also hung lanterns in the trees outside, and placed paper candle bags and fairy lights in the garden for the evening. As Grant is from Belfast we had large pink Belfast Lollies discs and Belfast Fudge as our favours, we tied Liberty fabric ribbon around each one. Not sure if anyone actually ate them but they made the tables more colourful!
THE STATIONERY: Luckily enough Grant is a designer so he created the design for the stationery. The Print Library in Belfast printed everything for us and we decided on a mix of different spring colours to run randomly throughout the stationery to fit with the spring/ random style of things!
THE CAKE: It took us ages to decide (as we both love cake) but eventually we decided upon a three tier victoria sponge. We didn’t get any on the day but from the tasting I know it was the right choice!
THE MUSIC: We walked out of the church to ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, which the organist very kindly learnt just for us! Again, a last min decision but we went for ‘Your Love Keeps Lifting me Higher’ by Jackie Wilson, we had the DJ line up a few so we could choose on the day. It just felt right, happy and upbeat
THE ENTERTAINMENT: We had a Jazz duo for the arrival drinks to set a relaxed mood then we had a full on wedding disco in the evening complete with glitter ball! The disco was great and everyone danced right till the end!
CARRIAGES: We couldn’t resist a gorgeous 1965 Jag from Genevieve Vintage Wedding Cars, although we didn’t let him put on any ribbons (again my mum thought we were crazy!)
THE HONEYMOON: We spent a few days at Babbington House immediately after the wedding, which was perfect as we both needed a rest, and also a pig out! Then we went to Seville in the summer, as we needed something to look forward to. It certainly helped with the post wedding blues!
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: The ceremony – we laughed the whole way though it and there was a swarm of lady birds in the church that took a liking to Grant! It was very odd but strangely very funny!
OUR TOP TIPS: Relax! I got so stressed with planning and on the day you just don’t care, have fun and trust that it will go well! Also, any supplier that is a pain and rude, don’t use them – its not worth the hassle! I had a previous venue that fell though and although stressful at the time I think of it as a blessing now. The staff at Hotel Du Vin were amazing and I was so glad we had the reception there in the end.
Photography: McKinley-Rodgers Photography
Venue: Hotel Du Vin Winchester
Florist: The Flower Orchard
Dress: Jenny Packham
Groom, Bridesmaids + Groomsmen: Paul Smith
Hair & Make-up: Annabel Hornsby
Stationary: Designed by The Groom
Cake: Sarahs Cakes of Romsey
Transport: Genevieve Vintage Wedding Cars
Now, I think you will agree that is one beautiful spring wedding. Those bouquets are out of this world! A huge congratulations to the lovely Susan & Grant and thanks for sharing your special day. Mrs White x